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Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings? I understand that in some ultra-religious groups they do, but there seem to be many groups within Orthodoxy where they do not cover their hair either during the chuppah or during the reception. (A veil is worn, of course, but that hardly seems to be a full covering.) What is the reasoning behind leaving the hair uncovered during the wedding?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You say: A veil is worn, of course, but that hardly seems to be a full covering.

I learned that due to the large argument about when the bride first must cover her hair, it is sufficient at the wedding to have a partial covering which satisfies the Biblical requirement (dat moshe) but not the rabbinic requirement (dat yehudit). [See the Talmud Ketubot 72b where a קלתה is described as fulfilling the Biblical requirement but not the rabbinic one.]

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I don't bite downvoters who do comment... –  Double AA Feb 12 '12 at 23:50
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You never know these days (it wasn't me BTW- I like the answer) –  Hacham Gabriel Feb 13 '12 at 4:04
    
@DoubleAA, I didn't downvote, but FYI see meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/146: "not all down-votes require comments: the criterion for down-voting is simply that the reader did not find the answer 'useful' - this doesn't necessarily indicate a problem that needs to be stated in a comment... Ultimately, comments and votes are two different forms of communication, with different intended uses and different audiences. The system does encourage you to leave a comment when down-voting, but if you don't have anything worth saying, then... don't say it." –  msh210 Feb 13 '12 at 5:59
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@msh210 I didn't say they had to, just that I wouldn't bite them if they did (in case that was the only barrier :) ) –  Double AA Feb 13 '12 at 14:08
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Per the Igros Moshe the bride does not have to cover her hair until the morning after the wedding. The reasoning is that so long that she retains a public presumption of virginity, she has no obligation to cover her hair.

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Gershon, I assume that's what you were referring to. –  Double AA Feb 12 '12 at 21:22
    
Thanks. Yes that was the Teshuva. –  Gershon Gold Feb 12 '12 at 21:25
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In the opposite direction, there are many women who were once married but are now single who also cover their hair, for the same reason. –  avi Feb 13 '12 at 8:18
    
Now I'm wondering: what if she doesn't retain a public presumption of virginity? What if she is a convert or baalat teshuvah or, for some reason, her premarital dalliances are well known? Or if it's her second marriage? –  SAH Jun 5 '12 at 16:35
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